June 26th, 2007


(no subject)

Hmm, not actually sure if the Altima will survive the tow. I'll call the Nissan mechanic tomorrow and get his advice. It's not worth the haul if I wind up gutting the car doing it--it's a tough little beast, it's in good shape, it's paid off, and I have high hopes of milking another 70k+ miles out of it.

If it won't fly, I may just leave all my furniture and most of my boxes with James*, ship my clothes and essential art supplies, toss a roof-rack on the Altima (and that it WILL take...) and drive out with my computer, scanner, and Mr. Printy, the three objects I cannot live without. (And possibly some dishes...) It'll cost a few hundred to ship all the stuff, of course, but I feel a lot better about doing that than about laying out for a truck to take stuff someplace, then having to do it again a year later. Once I'm situated wherever I decide I want to be, I can either have James ship the rest out to me, or more likely, fly back to Raleigh, rent a truck, and drive it out.

I feel pretty good about that plan, too, if it comes to that. It'll be a VERY minimalist year, maybe, but that'll probably be good for the soul.

Does anybody know any really cheap ways to ship things? I mean, is there third-class or freight or whatever? Media mail's fine and good, but I think they usually reserve that for...y'know...media....

*Let the record show that for a guy getting a divorce, James has been really REALLY good about things like "storing soon-to-be-ex-wife's stuff."

Livin' Ikea Loca

So I spoke to my mechanic, and his opinion was that if I was moving to Kansas or Nebraska, the Altima would do fine, it's a tough little car, but asking it to haul a loaded trailer over the Rockies would be an act of automotive cruelty.

Furthermore, it occurs to me that while renting a truck or a pod or anything else is not a business expense, buying office furniture once I'm out in San Jose will be...as will shipping my  art supplies and equipment. So at the end of the day it comes down to $2K+ that I don't get to write off, vs $1K+ that I largely do. And that's a good thing. (This year, that'll be a VERY good thing...Ursula may find herself in entirely the wrong tax bracket after the book advance, and Uncle Sam is unlikely to care that I used it to pay off student loans, credit cards, cat bladders and get a divorce with, and am not exactly livin' the life 'o Riley. Half my advance is going straight to prepay taxes as it is...Kids, remember this--if you ever become successful as an artist, remember to allow for taxes.)

So to heck with it. I'm mailing everything I need, storing everything I don't need, and hitting Ikea once I'm out there. And that's a good enough plan for one year.

Having finally--finally!--figured out what I'm doing, I feel much more relaxed. Living Swedish pre-fab minimalist for a year is probably good for the soul or something. The thing I'll miss most is my art--(not stuff I've done, but stuff I own.) I have waaaaay too much of it. A couple of standard-sized prints can be de-framed, tubed, and re-framed on the far side much more cheaply than they could be shipped, but most of it will have to stay here.

I'm taking most of the masks, though. Art is art, but I'd feel weird without the Barong staring at me. And while Ben is great for ninjas, if you're trying to ward off evil spirits, you can't beat the Barong.


(no subject)

The first round of auctions for unfinished art have ended, and wow! Thank you so much, guys! You rock! (Have I mentioned lately how lucky I am?)

Here's another five. These'll probably be the last before Anthrocon, but I'll have more when I get back, including some of the bigger stuff that's hard to scan.

Unfinished Angry Kiwi
Unfinished Crone with Pear
Unfinished Goblin Warlock
Hamster Sketch
Unfinished Woman with Puppet Napoleon

One nice thing about digging up all this unfinished art--I've actually found at least one piece from last year that I may go ahead and take a stab at actually finishing. It was nearly done, it was looking good, I just ran out of steam...but the panic of Anthrocon may yet inspire me!

Dad and El Gordo

Okay, I promised to tell the story of my father and El Gordo, and so I shall, because all I've been posting lately is auctions and moving stuff, and it's time for something that's actually FUN.

Way back in the late eighties, early nineties, my father had a ranch in the hills south of San Diego.

He did not ranch sheep. Or goats. Or pigs. No, nor cattle, nor llamas, nor bison nor ostrich.*

He ranched rats.

(Man, y'ever notice how your childhood sounds way weirder when you try to explain it to people?)

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